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Fred Beans Parts aims to grow bigger online

Fred Beans Parts Warehouse, 131 Doyle Street, Doylestown, received Ford Motor Company’s 2010 Premier Club Award, which honors the manufacturer’s top parts-selling dealers nationwide. Fred Beans Parts ranks #1 nationally for sales of Ford parts to dealers and #1 for sales of crash parts to body shops. Fred Beans is third from left.

Fred Beans is already the largest wholesaler of Ford and Chevrolet parts in the country, and he’s closing in on the top sales ranking for other brands as well.

Over the years he’s grown his new and used car sales and service into the afore-mentioned wholesales parts, collision repairs, detailing and accessories, car rentals, express lube and other services, towing, fleet sales and courtesy delivery, retail parts, commercial trucks and tire sales. (Not to mention his successful non-automotive business ventures in airplane charters, real estate, banking and more.)

So it really isn’t a surprise that the 15-year-old who mowed lawns to earn enough for flying lessons would become the business owner who is determined to expand his lucrative wholesale parts business into the ether.

Talk to Fred Beans about selling cars and he will demonstrate his business acumen, extensive experience and long-time love of vehicles.

The Ford Power Stroke® Diesel sales team at Fred Beans Parts Warehouse was recognized for its 2011 sales achievements, Shown here receiving the prestigious Million Dollar Club award and the Top 50 Club award from Blue Diamond executives. Holding the plaques are Denny Loux, operations director, and Joseph Lee, sales manager.

But talk to him about parts and you’ll see where his passion lies. It may be because the parts business seems limitless and largely untapped – a perfect opportunity. After all, lots of people are selling cars – and the more they sell, the more parts and accessories those purchases will require down the road. He gets to ride not only his own sales and service successes, but also every other dealer’s in the country. He and his team at Fred Beans Parts Warehouse are diligent and far-seeing strategists who keep raising the bar for themselves as well as other wholesalers.

And let’s face it, taking on the national names in auto parts sales is an exciting challenge. How do we move the hundreds of thousands of parts in our warehouse out to retail buyers via the Internet when other big names haven’t been able to figure it out?

In December 2010, Fred Beans, right, congratulates Jack Mang, Parts Warehouse, for 35 years with the company.

Key, apparently, is pictures, thousands of them, that have to be posted for buyers to review. Another factor is building the right online marketplace, and Fred Beans Parts is working with its marketing and advertising group, Stream Companies in Malvern, to find what works best.

Right now, they have a fledgling online ordering presence that operates from an office next to the phone sales cubicles at the Doylestown warehouse facility; it accounts for almost 5 percent of total parts sales. And they’re working with Amazon.com, which could provide them with a jump-start into the online sales world. So they are approaching a solution from several platforms, watching to see which one shows the greatest potential.

And then, when they find it, they’ll pounce. Watch for updates.